Version Reviewed: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPad Air 2
Graphics / Sound Rating:
User Interface Rating:
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What was once exclusive to the Windows Phone is now available on iOS as Halo: Spartan Assault has hit the App Store. This is not a bad thing, but in all honesty it could be better.
Spartan Assault takes place between the events of Halo 3 and Halo 4, with you taking control over Commander Sarah Palmer or Spartan Davis - depending on who’s side of the story a level is depicting. It makes for an okay look at some of what happened between the stories of both console games but since most of the context is shared via pre-mission briefs it’s not particularly exciting.
Playing Spartan Assault is thankfully more interesting than reading the story, though. It’s essentially Halo as a twin-stick shooter, shown from an isometric perspective. Because of the new angle (see what I did there?) it’s not quite the Halo you know and love, but it is a reasonably close approximation. You’re still running and gunning, chucking grenades, swapping weapons, and occasionally riding in vehicles or taking over turrets to blast the Covenant to pieces.
The strange thing is, for all the praise I’ve seen heaped on Spartan Assault back before it ever came to iOS, I just don’t find it to be all that fun. The controls work pretty well (aside form the irritating lag when trying for a melee attack) and it looks nice enough, but many of the levels fall flat. Being able to spice things up by spending the experience earned in previous levels to switch weapon loadouts or activating “skulls” for game-changing difficulty modifiers (that will also earn you experience bonuses) helps, but it never truly got its hooks into me.
I can see Spartan Assault appealing to Halo fans, and even those who enjoy the occasional twin-stick shooter might want to give it a whirl, but in all honesty there are better examples on the App Store already. Spoiler alert for the upcoming Spartan Strike review: Spartan Strike is one such example.